Security of supply in a green power market - The challenges and opportunities of intermittent power

Project managerSverre A. C. Kittelsen
ClientNorges forskningsråd
Client project no.243626
ParticipantsHenrik Bjørnebye
Finn Førsund
Cloe Garnache
Rolf Golombek
Karen Evelyn Hauge
Øystein M. Hernæs
Ingrid M.S. Huitfeldt
Anders Gravir Imenes
Svenn Jensen
Sverre A. C. Kittelsen
Simen Markussen
Eric Nævdal
Ole Røgeberg
Vemund Vikjord
Nils-Henrik M. von der Fehr
Period2015 - 2021

Project description

Security of electricity supply in the long run is both a question of a) having sufficient energy and power capacity, and b) whether the system can deliver electricity efficiently where and when it is needed.

This project concerns how to organize the power market in order to avoid system breakdown while at the same time get the right investments in power generation capacity and electricity transmission. New challenges arise because of the large increases in renewable (intermittent) power that are expected by 2050 and beyond. We answer this by looking at theory, explore different technical, judicial and economic mechanisms and studying the interaction of these mechanisms in models of the Norwegian and European energy markets.

Intermittent power sources such as wind, run-of-river and solar depend crucially on weather conditions, with the implication that there is great uncertainty about the actual production possibilities to produce in the short to medium run. At the same time, the renewable power sources may have different geographical locations from consumption. The consequences for security of supply in the form of power outages and system breakdown could be substantial.

These developments pose major challenges for the design and regulation of markets, supply and demand, and of optimal investments in infrastructure, i.e. in "smart grids". The challenges are technological, legal and economic and we propose to answer them with an interdisciplinary team representing economic, technical and legal expertise.

A basic report provides a theoretical presentation of the conditions for optimal design of the power system when there is a sizeable share of renewable power. The project also looks at optimal pricing of transmission services in the power grid in a situation with increasing elements of unregulated power. An article in the journal "Energy" found significant additional costs in the form of necessary grid investments if wind power is built without taking into account the network needs. However, the total costs do not increase as much, since wind power is then built to a greater extent where it blows the most.

A separate report also looks at the costs of various forms of electricity storage, e.g. in the form of pump power, batteries or pressure chambers. The power market models have been further developed to take into account that solar and wind power shortfalls can cause acute scarcity for very short periods of time. In collaboration with the distribution company Ringerikskraft a field experiment has been conducted on the effects of introducing smart meters and the pricing of power. This analysis shows that strong price signals during peak load periods dampen demand and can help relieve the use of electricity networks. In the last phase of the project, model simulations show that a significant but realistic amount of storage in the European power markets can make it possible to meet the EU's targets for CO2 emissions in the power sector.


Scientific Journal

Golombek, Rolf, Arne Lind, Hans-Kristian Ringkjøb, Pernille SeljomThe role of transmission and energy storage in European decarbonization towards 2050 Energy2022Energy Vol 239, part C, 122159[PDF] [DOI]
Aune, F.R. and R. GolombekAre carbon prices redundant in the 2030 EU climate and energy policy package?2021The Energy Journal 42(3), 225-264[PDF] [DOI]
Bjørnebye, Henrik. Cathrine Hagem, Arne LindOptimal location of renewable power2018Energy 147, 1203-1215[PDF] [DOI]

CREE Working Paper

CREE is the Oslo Centre for Environmentally friendly Energy. Here you will only find the publications written by authors here at the Frisch Centre. A complete list is located at https://www.frisch.uio.no/prosjekter/cree/publications/CREE_working_papers/

Bjørnebye, Henrik, Cathrine Hagem, Arne LindOptimal location of renewable power2017No. 4[PDF]

Frisch Report

Førsund, F.R.Framework for Optimal Production and Transmission of Electricity2020No. 2[PDF]